Before & After: A Scandi-Style Apartment With Soul

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Architecture, Paris apartment, Renovation, Interiors, Scandi Style

In search of the perfect match to design her newly purchased apartment, a 25-year-old homeowner naturally found herself scrolling through Instagram. After discovering and falling in love with the beautiful work and style of Heju—a studio launched in 2014—she wrote to the 28-year-old founders, Hélène Pinaud and Julien Schwartzman. The homeowner and the interior designers immediately realized how much they had in common beyond their shared generation, and knew working together would be a smooth process.

“We met our client in the apartment and saw that we were on the same page in terms of inspiration and desire to create a minimal home,” remember Hélène and Julien. “Plus, she is an artist, so we knew that we would be able to go through our ideas and imagine a strong concept for this project. She wanted an apartment that doesn’t look like any other. We see this project as a mix of our style and hers!”

BEFORE: The layout of the apartment was always great; it just needed some modern updates.

Located in a quiet area of the 19th arrondissement, close to the charming park of Buttes de Chaumont—a favorite spot in the city for many Parisians—the flat, which is spread over 970 square feet, features a perfectly balanced combination of Swedish and Mediterranean influences to echo the owner’s origins. “The objective of the renovation was to create a softer and more contemporary space,” say the interior designers, who are used to working with pure lines and minimalist volumes, and are naturally drawn to Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics.

BEFORE: Hélène and Julien reworked the living room to include more storage space along the floor. They also added a variety of materials from wood to tile to add visual interest.

AFTER: Cozy and bright, the main living area is comprised of a living room with a made-to-measure fireplace, a Roche Bobois sofa, an &Tradition armchair, CTO Lighting wall fixtures, and a Cold Picnic rug. The large bench, covered with porcelain stoneware tiles, allows informal seating in front of the sofa.

BEFORE: Although the red sink is kind of cool, it really clashed with the dark glass and made the space feel crowded.

AFTER: Bold lines and lots of curves make the renovated bathroom a dream. The lighting fixtures are by Atelier Areti and the mirror is by &Tradition.

“The apartment was in good condition, but it had a very strong ’90s style,” adds the duo. “We reviewed all the materials and transformed the atmosphere. We wanted to make the space clearer and the volumes simpler.”

Installed below the staircase, the kitchen has neutral tones and an island in the center, which becomes a dining table on one side.

The space makes use of textures and shapes everywhere you look. 

“Our client absolutely wanted to have terrazzo countertop, so we chose one with pastel stones and then defined the color of the kitchen cabinets,” says Hélène and Julien. “We used a light blue and some white 3D tiles for the island to have a Nordic atmosphere that we decided to warm up with brass shelves to add a Mediterranean touch.”

Creating a soft and uncluttered look, but with plenty of personality and contrasts, was the goal for the project.

After four months of design and the same period of work on-site, the project came to life just a few months ago, becoming the first dream home of the recently graduated artist, where she can relax and get inspired in a discreetly refined space.

BEFORE: A fresh coat of white paint was the main remedy for the dark and dated bedroom.

AFTER: Pieces by Scandinavian brands and designers such as Menu, Louis Poulsen, and Muuto adorn the main bedroom. The large closet hides two sliding wooden doors with brass handles.

“The apartment is both soft and bold with an arty style,” describe the interior designers. “Geometric shapes, such as arches and triangles, were also an important part of the design.” Original materials including porcelain stoneware tiles combined with birch plywood, pastel hues, and abstract volumes characterize this quiet apartment. Mastering the art of contrasting cold and warm elements, and feminine and masculine colors to shape timeless interiors, Hélène and Julien have already developed a unique visual language. “The architecture is a way to find concrete solutions to facilitate daily life but also to bring a little bit of poetry to it.”

BEFORE: The space on the second floor had a lot of potential—it could be used as an office or a second bedroom.

AFTER: The arches bring a touch of originality to the space and act as a nod to the geometric shapes distilled throughout the apartment. Plus, they bring in extra light to the stairway.

Via AD US

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